I think this is fundamentally a better book than John Jennings Salem Frigate and for the same market. The setting is primarily New Bedford, whaling center, at the moment when industry (textiles) was rearing an unwelcome head, meeting scepticism and resentment among those leading families whose livelihood stemmed from the sea. The story spans 50 years in comparative detail, in the pattern of Russell Aashmead's stormy career-non-conforming son of one of these families, and a brief postscript brings the story down to 1922, when Russell, storms behind, him, takes his wife Mary, on a Fall River liner, in wry recognition of the more romantic voyage of escape they had continually postponed. Good Americana this, a substantial slice of New England in the process of growth, regional values as New Bedford celebrates its 100th anniversary of ""city"" status, and a good tale withal. The author is a familiar name to all who know the Vineyard where he is editor of the famous Vineyard Gazette.